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BOS traded Mookie bc of soccer?!
~DISCLAIMER: this is obviously a conspiracy theory with no proof and just for fun.. or is it? ~
Watching Mookie prove he’s a top 2 player in baseball during G1 has made me start to question, all over again, why the Red Sox traded this man. Hear me out:
1) one main reason it is said he was traded was to help offload David Price (aging pitcher on the decline on a huge contract) They could have gotten it done without giving up Betts, (a top 2 player in baseball as a sweetenekicker? Not buying it). Teams offload talent all the time but throwing in prospects as sweeteners. 1a) It has been said that maybe the Sox wanted to avoid the Competitive Balance Tax. But Betts is a generational talent. And if Betts would have signed his contract extension offer of $300 million, the Red Sox would have only had a $12.4 million tax hit from that (Sporting News, Billy Heyen). Aka not significant in the sporting world, esp for a deep pocketed giant like the Red Sox.
2) the rumors were Betts wanted to test free agency. It can definitely be scary to let someone like him walk without getting something in return. Well... he almost instantly signed an extension w LAD. So that theory doesn’t hold up anymore. He obviously just wanted what he believed he was worth. 2a) Edit: some raised concerns that he didn’t want to be in Boston and that he signed the LAD extension bc of post-COVID market concerns. Mookie has been quoted as saying, “But I love it here. This is a great place to be, to spend your career here. That doesn't mean you sell yourself short.” The Red Sox lowballed him, constantly. Also, he obviously wanted Trout money ($400m range). And yes, COVID probably played a role, as there was no way of knowing what it would do to the market. But, he still signed for almost 20% more than what BOS ever offered him.
3) the prospects they got were a package that seemed a little light to most baseball analysts. That probably had to do with the Dodgers paying part of Prices salary? They were the only the Dodgers No 5, 7, and 13 ranked prospects at the time (Fangraphs). It’s not like it was a deal the Red Sox couldn’t refuse, esp since the #2 player in baseball was going the other way.
4) The Red Sox are owned by the Fenway Sports Group (FSG), who also owns Liverpool F.C., the English premiere league team.
5) there have been more and more reports recently that Liverpool (aka the Fenway Sports Group), in association with other teams like Manchester United and partners like JP Morgan and FIFA, are attempting to create an 18-team super league. “The European Premier League”. 5a) to add credence to the reports, because no one involved has confirmed anything and it seems to be very secret and under the table, the presidents of UEFA and La Liga have publicly condemned the idea, calling it selfish and destructive to European soccer as we know it.
6) the creation of this league would require around $6 billion to create/fund up front (Sky News, Mark Kleinman). If the 18 team number is accurate, that’s about $333 million down from each team (that’s, of course, simple division, before counting in investments from JP Morgan, FIFA, and others, and assuming each of the 18 teams paid the same, which they probably wouldn’t. Richer teams like Liverpool would probably front more money than most).
7) Betts extension with the Dodgers was for $365 million 7a) Betts notably turned down, $200 and $300 million extension offers. So Boston, to their credit, was willing to offer, but it was obviously still no where near what Betts was looking for. Boston clearly had a limit they set for themselves.
8) it’s not fair to insinuate that FSG needed the entire chunk of money Mookie would have signed for to fund their new super league venture, as any savvy company with their level of stature and success can pull off multiple ventures, as they obviously have done before. But, on the other side of that same coin, smart businesses know their limit/how high they are willing to go. It IS fair to assume that they would not want to risk going “all-in” on multiple ventures at once, as it may strain their finances a little too thin for their liking.
TLDR: Did the Red Sox have a limit on what they were willing to spend on Mookie Betts (or the team as a whole) bc their parent company, Fenway Sports Group, knew they were going to need a significant investment ready to help lead and create the European Premier League for the other team in their portfolio, Liverpool? Are they low-key re-allocating their priority and funds to this soccer project?
They haven’t come up with or explained a better reason yet.
submitted by BulaBus